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Feature Friday: LK Custom Creations

Happy Feature Friday!

headshotToday we’re excited to feature Lizz Klaras of LK Custom Creations! We love how she took her love of painting and turned it into a career — making her work stand out by using glass as her canvas! Her pieces are not only unique works of art, but are also completely usable! She’s truly inspired by her surroundings, creating glassware that has amazing depictions of nature and animals — they’re sure to make a statement in your own collection! Her brand’s story will definitely inspire you in your own creative pursuits, so keep reading to hear more about how she got her start, and to see the gorgeous transformations she gives these glasses and plates!

Castle Logo: Tell us a little about yourself.
lk: I am a freelance artist from a very small town in Illinois. My husband is in the military so we are currently stationed in Chesapeake, VA and we love it!  I have a five year old daughter who is very interested in art and is often found in my studio acting as my assistant.

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Castle Logo: How did you get started with LK Custom Creations and hand painting glassware?
lk: For as long as I can remember, I always wanted to be a freelance artist but it took a while to figure out exactly what I could create that would be unique. LKCC originally started out as a custom invitation business.  I thought that combining my illustration skills with custom invitations would be a great fit.  I loved the design process but assembling them became a very daunting task for me.  I missed painting so much and I wasn’t about to hand paint hundreds of invitations!  I began to look for anything I could produce that could still be custom, yet outside the world of traditional 2D artwork.  Once I learned to paint on glass I was hooked!  It was usable art and that is what I loved most about it.  I started adding glassware designs to my Etsy site and instantly the glass art began to attract customers.

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DIY Pumpkin Painting

BY CAILIN BURKE

Halloween is right around the corner but the World Series is already here! I decided to combine the two when pumpkin painting this year. For some reason I had the overwhelming want to recreate the Mets home run apple, but didn’t realize how difficult it would be. After many hours, I love how it turned out and wanted to show you the steps to creating a more difficult pumpkin masterpiece!

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Feature Friday: Illustrator Ann Shen

tumblr_me5jodMvUZ1qbwmaiHappy Feature Friday!

Today we’re featuring the fun and bright illustrations of Ann Shen! We have actually been familiar with Ann’s work for awhile since we always come across her illustrations in different places online. We love how her designs have an aesthetic that makes it easy to recognize her work and we’re so excited to get the chance to learn more about her. From selling her pieces on Etsy and doing freelance projects, to working on her very first book (that will be released next fall!), Ann is one busy creative! Luckily she took the time to answer some of our questions and show us how much she really loves what she does. Read on to brighten up your Friday by seeing her illustrations!

Castle Logo: Tell us a little about yourself.
1445381491323: Hi! I’m Ann and I’m an illustrator, letterer, and graphic designer based in Los Angeles.
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Feature Friday: Caterham Design

22_September_Kate_Website_Profile_Photo_1Happy Feature Friday!

Today we’re bringing to you Catherine Dawes of Caterham Design! We fell in love with her hand-lettering instantly and think it’s so cool that something as simple as a phrase can be written to look fun, stylish, or even sophisticated. Catherine really does a great job in making sure her typography communicates something. We love how her pieces all have their own feeling or vibe attached to them! She has a lot of great advice to share and we can’t wait for you to keep reading to learn more about her creative journey thus far.

Castle Logo: Tell us a little about who you are.

CD logo:  Hi! I’m Catherine, a graphic artist from South Africa specializing in hand-lettering and calligraphy. I run my design studio, Caterham Design, from a dusty farm on the edge of the Kalahari; where I drink lots of coffee, eat my fair share of buttery pastries, and create hand-crafted designs for creative, artisan companies and individuals.

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Feature Friday: Artist Ellie Edon

Screen Shot 2015-09-12 at 14.21.31Happy Feature Friday!

Today we’re featuring Ellie Edon of @wastedpaints. We can’t help but be drawn her colorful, fun pieces! A majority of her focus is on animals and it’s so cool that she makes them look completely realistic, while at the same time often using multicolor. She not only creates art because she’s talented at it, but also loves how it makes her feel. Her pieces make us happy so we’re glad that creating them does the same for her! Keep reading to learn more about Ellie and see her amazing works of art!

Castle Logo: Tell us a little about yourself as well as your artistic background.

Screen Shot 2015-10-08 at 10.13.22 PM: I’m Ellie Edon. I am an 18 year old from Yorkshire in England. I’m a socialist, a vegetarian, intersectional feminist, a dog lover and someone who finds peace in making artwork. I find writing about myself difficult as I am still young and developing who I am. I want how I change as a person, and my values, to shine through my artwork someday.

I remember in Year 6 (in England this is around the age of 10/11) I won my first Art contest with the theme being Easter. In fact, I used very very bright colours even then. I also won a blue peter badge with the same work. (This was a big deal!!) I used to have very low self confidence, and found some self-esteem when people complimented my work. This esteem has helped me develop my skills in where I am today, and has made me a much more confident person. I’m still just someone with an Instagram account – still, it’s pretty cool having a following.

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Feature Friday: Honey and the Hive

Happy Feature Friday!

IMG_3341Today we’re featuring the fun (and often hilarious) illustrations of Kelsey DeLange of Honey and the Hive. We fell in love with her prints right away since we’re always looking for sassy sayings to hang on our walls. Not only does she have funny phrases, but she also sometimes pairs the words with food— which we love!, and has gorgeous inspirational prints as well. We just can’t get enough of their cheery vibe and bright colors! Read on to see more of her pieces and learn about the brand.

Castle Logo: Tell us a little about yourself.

honey hive logo: Hi there! My name is Kelsey and I make brightly colored whimsical illustrations for my shop, Honey and the Hive.  I live and work in a small town in Michigan, with my husband and our crazy cute tiny dude.

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Awesome People Please Apply!

Hello lovely readers!

As most of you are aware, every Friday we feature someone who is doing something creative or just plain cool on our site. If you write, draw, paint, play an instrument, dance, own a business, travel, sew, design, craft, or have any other talent you want to share, apply to be a Screen Shot 2014-03-14 at 17.05.05!

We love sharing what you guys are doing and it’s a great opportunity to show off what you do to your friends, family, colleagues and our readers from all over the world.

To apply simply shoot us an email at castlefoundations(at)gmail.com, tell us what you do and we will get back to you with our feature options.

We can’t wait to share some of the Features we already have lined up for this month!

–Tara & Cailin

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Feature Friday: Illustrator Valeria Susloparova

Happy Screen Shot 2014-03-14 at 17.05.05!

x_ad31278cThis week we talked to Valeria Susloparova of @vsusik, who has a large Instagram following for her amazing dog illustrations. We love this feature, because these aren’t your typical illustrations. She finds ways to make them unique and integrate 3D components, all while making her subjects have personality. From the drawing skills it takes to create the dog, to the element she adds to make the portrait humorous or cute, we can’t get enough of her work! She has always wondered what dogs are actually thinking, and her art really shows this thought process. Keep reading to hear more about Valeria and see some of the funniest dogs you’ll probably look at all day.

Castle Logo: Tell us a little about yourself.

rcLH9TbRhPM: My name is Valeria Susloparova. I was born in Russia and I have still lived here. My specialization is graphic design. I have been drawing all my life. I tried different painting techniques and materials, but I especially like watercolor painting. I have a gold labrador. He is my big love and inspiration. I enjoy reading, watching films and series, riding bicycle and nature.

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Castle Logo: How did you find your style of mixing illustration with physical objects?

rcLH9TbRhPM: It all has happened in a creative process. I continue developing my skills in this direction.

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Castle Logo: You paint a lot of dogs. What about them inspires you to create your pieces?

rcLH9TbRhPM:  Yes, basically I draw dogs but I can create illustrations using different techniques. Dogs…Their funny and cute faces inspire me. I wonder what they are thinking about and I try to reflect it in my illustrations.

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Castle Logo: What art supplies do you use most for your work?

:rcLH9TbRhPM  I work with watercolor and use watercolor pencils to breathe life into my paintings because I like the way they depict the texture of animal fur.

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Castle Logo: Do you sell your work or take commissions?

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:  It has always been my hobby. There are a lot of requests and offers to make more illustrations now. I put not only time but also love into my paintings. If I need to give someone my illustration, I am really upset. But I am glad, if painting has a new home, a new ‘owner’. Unfortunately, I live in Russia and I can’t guarantee safe delivery of my works. I can send them with pleasure but only electronically. And there are some advantages in this way of delivery: One, you have to wait a few seconds to get it, and two, you can print it in any size using any paper.

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Castle Logo: Do you have an illustration that is your personal favorite?

rcLH9TbRhPM:  It’s difficult to choose a special one. I love all of them!

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Castle Logo: You graphic design and illustrate. What do you like about each?

rcLH9TbRhPM:  I am trying to keep up to different innovations in this sphere of art. There are a lot of talented people in this area. They motivate me to develop and create in order my works to be more interesting and high quality.

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Castle Logo: When did you start using Instagram to share your pieces?

rcLH9TbRhPM: Firstly, it was my personal Instagram profile but when I posted some illustrations, it become something more. Now, it’s dedicated to my works.

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Castle Logo: What are some of your goals for 2015?rcLH9TbRhPM

:  To draw! To paint! And once again – to paint! It’s necessary to develop yourself constructively and creatively. Then, I really would like to travel. Also, a long list of books to read is waiting for me.

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Castle Logo: Any advice?rcLH9TbRhPM:  If you are a beginner in painting and face some difficulties and failures, the most important thing is not to lose heart but to continue working. Paint every day, develop your world outlook! Learn and study more, examine the works of more experienced artists. Dream up and improvise, be bold and take risks. Love what you do. It is sure to “yield fruit”.

 

Feature Friday: Artist Estela Cuadro

Happy Screen Shot 2014-03-14 at 17.05.05!
Estela_Cuadro6Our feature this week is artist Estela Cuadro. Estela wanted to give you an inside look into her entire creative process, so we are doing something a little different…a guest post! Read all about Estela from the artist herself.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA“I’m Estela Cuadro, from Buenos Aires, Argentina. I’ll tell here some info about me.

When I start my day in my studio, I want to listen to some music. It is generally not always the same.  I like to use some incense.  When I begin a new artwork I used to use an special cardboard that allows the pigments and water too react in a special way; giving textures, shapes, deformations and then letting my imagination act freely.  The music always transpose me and my sensory part which takes me to an inside world – introspective.  It nourishes my imagination, it motivates me.  It constantly leads me to paint many of my paintings and I feel pleasure in that.  I feel like I never want to stop doing this. It´s part of my life.

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I use lots of techniques, like pencil, small coal and oil. Especially when I was young.  Nowadays I like to use more than one technique at the same time, and make different results.  I use India ink with salt, and I let them act freely on the support.  I use other things to generate texture, and I use oil painting, pencils and pens to realize details. If I had to pick a style for my art,  it would be quite difficult. Perhaps I associate my work with surreal art.  My characters and their environment have nothing to do with reality.

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The distorted reality is part of my inspiration, my contacts and my experiences. My artwork is based on the unconscious – all associated with my dreams, relationships & with life itself. I don´t try to tell stories in my artworks. My work isn’t the realization of an illustration for a story, book or magazine ( with a text behind the artwork). There are always ideas or suggestions (of a story) but it’s not a literal sort of story. I take fun in other people’s freedom in interpretation. I feel that it is important is to feel total freedom without restriction and without much precise meaning. I like to leave the interpretation of each piece to each  person, you can get carried away like I do in every piece of art.  I think each work has something special, they are part of my “games”, my pleasures.

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Each work is part of a sensory and emotional expression, for sure. I often think that the power of paint lets me express myself of many things that are somewhere in my head. For example, relevant situations, dreams, experiences and thoughts that I keep (in my mind),  I need to express them in some way, and doing it on a canvas is a perfect idea for me!

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When I talk about a “game” in relation to my work as an artist, I mean that’s the way that I have fun with the characters, animals and plants when my playfulness arise. You’re letting it flow! So you have to let go of the restrictions and really play with everything that is created, generating a new and unique artwork. My inspiration comes from music, books, a good wine, plants, dancing while I´m painting and my small garden.

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The narrative of an artwork is not something important for me. I want to do art without thinking, without restrictions, like art is for me. I think that the style is generated, created as one grows as an artist. Plus experience and techniques, the papers, the canvas help form and then you feel comfortable (in that space).

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I listen to many styles of music, I need that every day (to have a musical change).  This change produces in me an energy and mobility different in my body.  I like pianist’s music, jazz, rock, hip hop or ambiance. My musical panorama is very board. I try to constantly meet new artists and new bands that are emerging. I like to investigate the soundtracks of movies and series. Besides music, I love my studio, it is full of colors, pins, my favorite library and plants.  I think the place (to create) is an important point when you are creating. I consider my atelier to be full of colors and visual incentives that help open your mind.  I have a lot of travel objects, artist books and books from friends. Music for me is like my battery to start each day, but I love where I work. And another important point is that it has an incredible luminosity, overlooking a terrace where I  have a small cottage and plants that I care much (for).

 
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I would say that the (core) passion about art, is to feel free, to have your mind open to all the things new that can appear.  Every crisis is a new starting point and always the beginning of something new and not something that ends.

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My top list of people who constantly inspire me and the reasons behind it.
Jean-Michel Basquiat:  Because of his expressiveness, his loose strokes & his liberty.
Egon Schiele: His obsession for expression, postures & sexuality. His work tries to capture the sensuality of women and men.
Paul Klee:  I love the choice for his color palettes, his compositions & his details.
Amy Cutler:  Because I like her imagination, how she tells a story and her incredible levels of details. She creates strong characteristics via clothes, human expressions, hairstyles, animals and landscapes.
Pablo Picasso:  I admire his versatility. It’s amazing how much work he was able to create during his life. I consider him as a genius. I love watching his videos and seeing how his imagination puts his art is in constant transformation – like seen in this VIDEO http://www.picasso.fr/es/picasso_pagina_index.php
Frida Kahlo:  Because I admire her strong personality, her passion, her ideology and her deep love for Diego Rivera. All her art works were about her life and her physical & mental pain. She was a fighter, yet a very sensitive one who created a lot of wonderful art full of color.”

Feature Friday: Artist Greta Vick

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This week’s feature is artist Greta Vick. We really love her style and could definitely see her work gracing the walls of any modern art museum. Her use of color is so bright and vibrant! When combined with her work’s compositions and textures, her pieces really attract the eye. One thing we noticed about Greta is that she never had a doubt in her mind that she needed to create. No matter where life took her, this was something that was unquestionable. It’s great to see people pursue their calling with that much fervor. To learn more about Greta and see some of her pieces, read her interview below!

Castle Logo: Tell us about yourself.

name: Heterodox. Crazy Cat Lady. Chroma Engrossed. Sarcastic Goofball. On a more serious note – I grew up on a retired farm near Madison, Minnesota and now reside in Minneapolis. I’ve been creating since I popped out of the womb. I love the unorthodox, the contemporary, the abstract. Design, art, and creativity all consume my life. It’s glorious.

Given my creative complex, I found myself with a Bachelors of Science majoring in Interior Design from the Art Institute International. These days in addition to producing art, I work with architects, interior designers, and landscape architects to create space in both the natural and built worlds.

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Castle Logo: Describe your artistic style/aesthetic.

name: Obnoxious chaos expressed in a collected manner. Bright pops of color that slap you in the face. Texture….glorious thick, cracked, bumpy texture. The style in which the aforementioned details are executed constantly changes and grows. I have many different techniques that I incorporate at random moments, and am always thinking of new techniques to play with. To sum it up: contemporary abstract expressionism.

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Castle Logo: What made you decide to do abstract art?

name: I’ve been creating since I came into this world. I focused heavily on intricate graphite and sculptural pieces when I was young – I definitely painted but it wasn’t as desired as it is today. Out of college, I let go of definitions and made amends with the moment. I trained myself to stop thinking so logistically and just let go. This was what was most fun to me – this idea of allowing the moment to dictate and guide me. From there it transpired into this beautiful career.

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Castle Logo: Who are some of your favorite artists?

name: Gosh. The artists that I adore and truly inspire me are some of my closest friends. My partner constantly inspires me on a daily basis, he never ceases to amaze me. My parents even, but they don’t claim to be artists. Even my sister who again, is as far from claiming artistic talent as one can get, but she is an artist to me ☺

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Castle Logo: What would you say has been your biggest accomplishment thus far in your career?

name: My biggest accomplishment with my art career has been the ability to let go. I struggled for a very long time to live in the moment and not be concerned about the end result. I’m a huge perfectionist and being able to give up control is something I constantly battle every day. To be able to conquer the ability to live in the moment when I paint is just monumental.

I’m also sincerely proud of myself for creating an art career in the first place. I’m driven by that constant desire and need to design and create – it’s my sole inspiration.  It was never a goal, never something I had sought out to do, to be selling and showing work – it just transpired and the opportunities that have been presented to me have been truly amazing. I’m still in shock, almost numb in a sense.

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Castle Logo: What are your dreams and career goals?

name: I have a lot of dreams! Some are good, some are nightmares, some are weird, I sleepwalk in different states even! First and foremost- my goal in life is to be happy. At this current time in my life, designing and creating make me pretty darn happy. That’s been a consistent feeling throughout my life, so I can only imagine that the future might be the same. I would love to have half of my career be with my art – just expanding my skill set and opportunities, while the other half of my career still be focused with designing architecture, interior design, and landscape architecture. I love and adore all realms, having a balance between it all is a healthy fit.

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Castle Logo: Describe the process of completing one of your pieces. How long does it take on average?

name: This question varies immensely. I typically start out by just standing and staring. I’ll stand there, stare, and whatever I gravitate towards in the moment, I execute. I operate on an unplanned basis. There’s really no rhyme or reason, just what “feels right”. I’m also normally working on at least 10 pieces at once – it helps production move faster, especially when I have to rely on time for paint to dry. On a more layered piece – it can take weeks to dry and finalize. It all depends upon what the conditions are, if Minnesota is choosing to be hot and humid – my process slows. It also depends upon the type of texture I want to achieve as well. If it’s just a different style and not as layered, it may take me as little as two full days.

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Castle Logo: When you’re not working on a piece, what else can you be found doing?

name: I’m generally either working or creating, or unfortunately dealing with some chronic health issues. So when I’m unable to work or create, it means I’m ill and cuddling with my cats.  I’m a large introvert, perfectionist and art addict, so I’m typically ALWAYS wanting to create and tackle something on my list of to do’s. The effect of production gives me a natural high. The word “bored” doesn’t exist in my world.

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Castle Logo: Where do you think your artistic style will go in the future?

name: Great question! Honestly, I just hope to continue to experiment and evolve. Wherever the heck that takes me, I’ll be happy !

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Castle Logo: Any advice for other artists out there?

name: Just be happy. Be respectful.  Be empathetic. Do what you love with such immense passion and intellect, everything else will work itself out. Also – be a realist.

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Castle Logo: What is your favorite part about what you do?

name: Knowing that I’m doing something true to myself. I’m not just thinking about doing it – Not putting this desire and need on the back-burner. I’m putting it on the front burner, and makin’ myself some art stir fry!


Check out more from Greta below!
Etsy: goodgravygreta
Instagram: @gretacat